WHILE addressing party workers and leaders at a function in Mumbai exactly a year after Shiv Sena decided to join the Fadnavis government, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Thursday made a veiled attack on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for not doing enough to tackle the problems of farmers in the drought-hit districts of Maharashtra.
He said, “Instead of going here and there, the chief minister should reach out to help farmers.” This was a dig at Fadnavis’ six-nation tour to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the state under the Make in Maharashtra mission. Although Thackeray did not mention Fadnavis by his name, he did not stop short of undermining the BJP-led government.
Thackeray exhorted party workers and ministers to work hard in order to ensure that they get absolute majority next election and are able to place their own chief minister in the state.
While expressing satisfaction over the work done by the ten Sena ministers currently in coalition government, he said, “Next time, we should have our own chief minister. We don’t want a chief minister who is traveling here and there. Instead, the chief minister should visit farmers and address their problems.”
In a sarcastic remark, he said, “ This is junta (people’s government). What is the logic of holding junta durbar.”
Thackeray emphasised that the decisions taken by the government should translate at grass roots. “We should bring change in the lives of people,” he said, urging Sena ministers and to reach out to help farmers reeling under drought conditions.
While acknowledging that one year is not enough to make assessment about any government, Thackeray said, “We have to address the concerns of the people.”
Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision to issue licences to and reopen dance bars, Thackeray wondered how it would serve the welfare of state. He said, “It is strange that some want to start the dance bars. However, when it comes to celebrating Ganesh festival, there is restriction on celebration beyond 10 pm. They set a deadline of 10 pm for the holy festival but they don’t have objections to dance bars, which would continue to function way beyond 10 pm.”
According to Thackeray, the state government should intervene and strongly plead the case to ensure dance bars ban continues.
Earlier in the day, the Sena ministers brought out a booklet giving out details of all the decisions and work done by their respective departments in last one year in the government.